Australia keen to invest in India's LNG, health, financial sectors
CANBERRA: Looking at India as a "favourable" investment destination, Australia is keen to invest in LNG, financial services, education and healthcare sectors of the USD 2-trillion economy.
India, which expects its economy to grow at 7.6 per cent this fiscal, has launched major initiatives to attract companies and investors from abroad amidst a subdued global economic sentiment.
India presents some "great" prospects for Australian businesses on account of a huge market of 1.2 billion people, Australia's Minister for Trade & Investment Andrew Robb told PTI.
"We expect the opportunity for those things that we are good at. We expect the opportunity to be able to come in and compete and to offer. In a lot of cases that would involve doing Joint Ventures (JVs) as there are a lot of local issues that need to be understood and the best way to do that is to find a good and trustworthy JV partner," he added.
When asked about the sectors, Robb said: "We expect to compete in the healthcare, education, financial services; and with world-class services, including resources and energy space."
The Minister said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has transformed India's image and made it a "favourable" investment destination.
On his expectations from India, Robb said: "We want the opportunity to invest in a way which is not fraught with long delays, approvals and endless red tape.(We want to) invest in an efficient way and also be able to offer, after investing, a fair opportunity to compete with other service offerings.
"And in many cases, I think we will bring IP ( intellectual property) that will be valuable to India and in many cases we will gain IP that will be an advantage to Australia."
He further said there is a "huge interest" in Australia to participate in helping India in developing resources, but also stressed on the need for clarity in policy at the same time.
we've got the gas, of course India's got some, but we've got huge quantities of gas.In the past there has been frustration with companies that went in, either at the state level or federal level, commercial frustrations and roadblocks.
"It has discouraged some companies from participating. But, a lot of that has changed under the new government (Modi government). That's why we are doing Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA), because we think now is the time where India is on the move and they are looking for whatever help different countries can give," he added.
Robb said that if governments get together it can ensure that there are no developments that hold the projects unnecessarily and that right attention is given and decisions are taken.
"States (in both the countries) can be brought in and commitments can be taken from them to give priority to certain projects. So, all of that creates a lot of business certainty, he added.
Talks for a CECA also known as FTA between India and Australia was started in 2011 to provide fillip to both trade and investments between the two countries.
"Well, certainly on the gas front, what the Minister (Power Minister Piyush Goyal) was talking about to Aussies on end-to-end projects, I think end-to-end propositions haven't been timed rightly in the past. I think there is a lot of scope for that. But in the end it will be a commercial decision," he said.
Goyal was in Australia last week for the India-Australia Energy Dialogue, which seeks to increase cooperation between both the governments and business in LNG, clean coal technologies, renewable energy among others. During his meetings with the government and businesses, Goyal stressed India's requirement of cheap gas for its power plants.
He, however added: "But I can say that if you do end-to- end and you have got a lot of certainty attached, both to the development of the project and also the ongoing, then the price issue could well be sorted. I think it's a graceful proposition for us to explore. It's a very worthwhile thing to explore."
Success breeds success and one thing will lead to other. There are some long term prospects for both the countries, Robb said.